The Devil's Rain (1975)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Horror  |   Release Date - Jun 20, 1975 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - Mexico , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Hollywood's post-Exorcist infatuation with Satan spawned a multitude of occult thrillers pining for similar exploitive success, though few had as surprisingly effective results as the equally kitschy/creepy Devil in the desert flick, The Devil's Rain. Featuring an impressive cast and an assured, eerie tone that endures despite some truly wild imagery, the film is a hidden gem in the world of obscure mid-'70s horror. Opening with a vivid title sequence featuring Hieronymus Bosch renderings of Dante's Hell accompanied by Al Delory's under-your-skin harmonics, director Robert Fuest (The Abominable Dr. Phibes and its sequel) keeps the audience uneasy from the get-go and ratchets up the tension from there. The cast should grab any hardcore cinephile by the throat, with William Shatner, Ida Lupino, Ernest Borgnine, and Tom Skerritt all adding their varied levels of class to an otherwise B-picture. John Travolta even makes an appearance, though his all-too-brief glimpses are obscured by various satanic extras as well as a case of a waxy, gruesome makeup job. In fact, this is one production that certainly benefited from a lax ratings board, as its gaping eye-socket nastiness spits in the face of its PG rating -- never mind that the picture just might hold the record for greatest melting effects in horror history, as evidenced in the finale once billed as "The Most Incredible Ending to a Motion Picture Ever!" While that statement certainly does some yoga stretches with the old truth, there are no lies in saying that Ernest Borgnine in demon-goat makeup is worth the price of admission alone.